A thousand years ago gargoyles were living creatures that slept as stone statues during the day, but came to life when the sun went down. Goliath, the gargoyle leader, would lead his warriors in defense of the castle. He was treated with contempt by the castle inhabitants, but defending the castle was his job, and he did it without question. One night he was betrayed and lured away from his post before a dawn attack. Turned to stone, there wasn't anything Goliath could do, and he awoke from his daytime slumber to find the castle overrun, and many of his fellow gargoyles smashed to bits. Filled with rage he hunted the person responsible for the betrayal, but returned to find the remaining gargoyles frozen as stone statues at night. Thinking they were responsible for the death of the princess, the mage placed a spell on them that would only be lifted when the castle rose above the clouds. With his friends frozen, Goliath asked that the spell be placed on him so he may join them.
A thousand years later the castle is purchased by Xanatos, a wealthy businessman. The castle is to be his new office, and it's moved atop his building in New York City. The castle is above the clouds, and the spell over the Gargoyles is lifted, setting them free. They find that some humans can be trusted, and others are willing to betray them as they were betrayed in the past.
I remember loving this show when it first aired. I would record it during the day and then watch it when I got home. I wouldn't call myself a huge fan of the series, especially after watching the featurette on the fans, but I enjoyed the show. I just moved into a new place last week and I came across some Gargoyles trading cards I had stashed away. Maybe I was a bigger fan than I remember. I thought it was pretty cool that so many of the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast members were cast in this show (I'm sure you'll recognize their voices).
Buena Vista Home Entertainment has released the entire first season, all 13 episodes, on this 2 disc set.
This....looks.....beautiful! Seriously, this looks way better than I was expecting. I pressed "play" (actually "Enter" over the "Play All" option) and had an instant smile on my face. The colors are solid, very solid, and they look bright and....well...beautiful! I was hard-pressed to find any kind of flaw with the video. I could compare the quality to Futurama, but Futurama has that artificial "I was done on a computer" look to it, while Gargoyles looks more natural. My only complaint is the lack of chapters during the episodes. Both discs contain a "play all" feature. In case you were wondering, the episodes contain the "next time on..." pieces as they originally aired.
I was equally impressed with the audio (Dolby Surround) on the release. Everything is crystal clear, and the soundtrack feels full, and well-produced. There are a ton of directional audio effects; characters speaking off screen, objects being tossed, cars driving by. The rear speakers are even used for a few ambient effects and to flesh out the track. There are optional English subtitles included.
Greg Weisman, Frank Paur and Keith David provide commentary on "Awakening" (parts 1-5). These are very interesting commentary tracks, and fans will eat them up.
The Gathering of the Gargoyles (13:47)
This featurette is on people that really love the show. Every year the fans gather to talk about the show, and some of them are interviewed for this piece. I enjoy the show, but these people really, really, really love the show.
Original Show Pitch (4:01)
Greg Weisman introduces the original pitch for the series. It's not the best quality, but it's neat to watch.
I've discovered that childhood memories can either be strengthened, or shattered, by watching a show years later. Thankfully my memories of Gargoyles are strengthened by watching this DVD set, probably because the show is great, but also because this is a beautiful-looking show on DVD. I'll never be as into the show as the people at "The Gathering of the Gargoyles," but I can enjoy it quietly in my own home.
The series presents an interesting problem for Disney. Season 1 was 13 episodes, but season 2 was 52 episodes, and season 3 was back to 13. I think it's likely that we'll see season 2 broken into 4 sets of 13 episodes. This will keep the costs down for consumers (remember, parents are more likely to buy something at a lower price) and it makes the most sense. I guess we could see 2 sets of 26 episodes, but I would hope it wouldn't carry a suggested price that's twice as much as season 1 ($59.99). I guess I care less about the release configuration as long as something is released...and soon!
If you were a fan of the series when it first aired, or heard it was interesting, then I suggest you pick this up.